Aspire Academy in Blackpool is to get a new headteacher - with the old head moving to the Far East

Pictured are pupils Joseph McGuinness, 13, Rebecca Fuller, 12, Lucy-Mae Cheatle, 13 and Kaja Baran, 15 with new headteacher John Woods.
Pictured are pupils Joseph McGuinness, 13, Rebecca Fuller, 12, Lucy-Mae Cheatle, 13 and Kaja Baran, 15 with new headteacher John Woods.
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Blackpool’s Aspire Academy is to get a new headteacher.

Current head Lisa Shuttleworth-Brown is set to move to the Far East for “family reasons”, the school said, with current deputy headteacher John Woods set to step up from August 17.

Staff and pupils at Aspire Academy celebrated after achieving a 'good' rating from Ofsted last year. Pictured are pupils Kaja Baran, 15, Rebecca Fuller, 12, Joseph McGuinness, 13 and Lucy-Mae Cheatle, 13 with outgoing headteacher Lisa Shuttleworth-Brown.

Staff and pupils at Aspire Academy celebrated after achieving a 'good' rating from Ofsted last year. Pictured are pupils Kaja Baran, 15, Rebecca Fuller, 12, Joseph McGuinness, 13 and Lucy-Mae Cheatle, 13 with outgoing headteacher Lisa Shuttleworth-Brown.

Mr Woods will then be replaced by veteran teacher Deborah Hanlon-Catlow.

Announcing the change, chairman of the Aspire Academy Council, Jill Gray, said: “This has been a tremendous year for everyone associated with Aspire Academy, and the school continues to grow from strength to strength.

“We were all thrilled with the school’s recent ‘good’ Ofsted judgement, and we all feel incredibly grateful for all that Lisa has brought to the school during her headship.

“John has played a big part in Aspire’s success story, and I am sure he will bring great vision and energy to his new role, as the school continues its exciting journey to
excellence.”

Ms Shuttleworth-Brown said: “It has been a pleasure and privilege to see the hundreds of students grow and develop in to such confident and successful learners.”


And Mr Woods said : “I am looking forward to building on the great foundations and successes to date by ensuring high standards in everything we do.


“I feel privileged to work with such a dynamic and talented staff but especially our fantastic students.”

Aspire’s two precursor schools were labelled ‘inadequate’ in 2014, and Aspire was told it ‘requires improvement’ in the first inspection after Collegiate High School and Bispham High School merged.

Ms Shuttleworth-Brown, who took over as headteacher in 2016, later spoke of her pride after Aspire was last year hailed by inspectors – making it one of Blackpool’s few ‘good’ secondary schools.

She said at the time: “I am extremely proud of all the pupils and staff. I have never doubted how amazing Aspire is and now everyone knows it.

Collegiate and Bispham were both handed Ofsted’s worst ranking before they merged in the face of falling numbers.

The school then moved from the now-demolished former Bispham High School in Bispham Road into a new building on the site of Collegiate, which was also flattened, in nearby Blackpool Old Road.

The school, run by the Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), which runs a score of schools across the area, has “significantly” improved over the past five years, Ofsted said following last year’s routine inspection.

Standards in behaviour, attendance, and teaching had all improved, while there was now a culture of “high
expectations”.

Results were “rapidly improving” too, though progress in English was still “not good”.